Under Pennsylvania law, a business may incorporate. If it chooses to do so, it is thereafter identified as its own legal entity. As a separate entity from the owners, the business is then considered to be operating on its own when it buys and sells property, assents to contracts and exercises legal rights. A business looking to incorporate in Pennsylvania must file with the Secretary of State in accordance with established guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Pennsylvania
An incorporated business enjoys certain advantages, the most important being a limit of liability for the shareholders. The most shareholders can lose is the amount they invest in the business. With unincorporated businesses, personal property of owners can be liquidated in order to fulfill the liabilities of the business. A corporation also allows creditors in the Washington area to assess the credit worthiness of the business as a whole rather than that of its owners, allowing the business to get loans more easily. Finally, a corporation's ownership stake is divided into equal slices or "shares" of stock, which make investments in the business much easier to transfer.
Costs of Incorporation
There are costs associated with incorporation, both short and long term. First, businesses in Pennsylvania might be charged a fee to incorporate. Also, a corporation is taxed as its own entity. Disbursements to the owners of the corporation are also taxed as individual income, so this means earnings might be taxed twice. But this double taxation can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local Washington lawyer.